MSO6889 - Halscombe Stone Setting (Monument)


The remains of a Bronze Age stone setting on a southeast facing slope, consisting of at least eight stones in two lines set almost at right angles.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 7699 3838 The remains of a stone setting situated about 400 metres above sea level on a moderate southeast facing slope of rush covered rough grassland. The setting, which does not appear to be complete, now consists of at least 8 original stones (B to D, F to I and K) which form two lines set almost at right angles to each other: C,D,I,K and F,G,H,I (I being common to both lines). Stone B seems to form part of another row on the northwest side of C, of which stone A, a small stone almost hidden by the turf, may be a third stone. A similar small stone E may also be an extension of the line F to I. The monument is sited on a stony slope and there are a number of loose stones, which may be displaced from the setting, or be natural litter. A similar number of small earthfast stones, all apparently natural occurrences, are also visible. A backfilled field drain crosses the site from north to south but appears to have done little damage. [1-3] A stone setting, reported to the Royal Commission for Historic Monuments in England in 1990 comprises eleven upright stones, at intervals of 8 to 12 metres. The original form is conjectural but may have consisted of at least four rows of four stones. Three stones barely protrude through the turf and could be natural. The others, mostly slabs, measure from 0.23 metres to 0.6 metres high. This is situated on a stony slope with a number of loose stones and small apparently natural earthfast stones. An additional table of information on the stones is held in the archive. [4] This site was scheduled on 28 March 1996. [5] Field survey found two stones (C and I) to be in active erosion hollows. [6, 7] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 0. [8] As part of the Exmoor Mires Project, South West Archaeology were contracted to undertake a non-intrustive walkover survey of the proposed mire restoration area on Deer Park. Eight standing stones were noted, one set in a slight erosion hollow and another mainly buried. [9] This site was visted as part of a non- intrustive walkover survey of the proposed mire restoration area on Deer Park. Stones visible were possibly B, C, F, G, H, I and another which was not identified. [10] The site was surveyed in March 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 0. [11] A stone setting in the Deer Park and Halscombe area, comprising of 11 stones and a possible addition found during this survey (Stone C2) which forms 3 parallel rows that may have once been part of a larger grid-shaped setting. The entire setting is situated on the lip of a slight hill overlooking a small tributary to the River Barle. Five of these stones are recumbent and they vary in height between 0.6m to 0.2m. Each stone is roughly separated by a gap of 5-6m. Livestock are still visiting these stones to rub against them and rushes have grown up significantly in the area, which almost completely obscures the site. [12-13, 16] The site was surveyed as part of an academic research project by Dr Sandy Gerrard in 2019. Surveys were conducted using a prismatic compass and electronic distance device with the plan being generated in the field. [14] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [15]

Sources/Archives (16)

  • <1> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Personal Communication. J Samuel, North Molton, Devon..
  • <2> Technical drawing: Probert, S.. 1990. Halscombe/ink survey . 1:100. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <3> Report: Quinnell, N.V. and Dunn, C.J.. 1992. Lithic monuments within the Exmoor National Park: A new survey for management purposes by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England.. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 40, SS73NE36.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 16 January 1990.
  • <5> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 24/04/1996. English Heritage to Somerset County Council.
  • <6> Survey: Blackmore O A. 2002. Condition Survey of Standing Stones on Exmoor National Park Authority Owned Land.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Walker M. 04/26/1995. Walker, M. to SCC.
  • <8> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <9> Report: Walls, S. and Morris, B.. 2012. Deer Park, Exmoor: Results of a walkover survey. South West Archaeology Ltd.. 13, 18, 42.
  • <10> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2013. Archaeological walkover surveys on Deer Park, Exmoor. Exmoor National Park Authority. 6, 7, 17, 18, 26.
  • <11> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <12>XY Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018. MSO6889. [Mapped features: #45773 Stone A., MSO6889; #45774 Stone B., MSO6889; #45775 Stone C., MSO6889; #45776 Stone D., MSO6889; #45777 Stone E., MSO6889; #45778 Stone F., MSO6889; #45779 Stone G., MSO6889; #45781 Stone I., MSO6889; #45782 Stone J., MSO6889]
  • <13> Report: Fuller, J.. 2018. Exmoor Prehistoric Standing Stone Condition Survey: 2017-2018 - Scheduled Standing Stones. MSO6889.
  • <14> Website: Gerrard, S.. 2020. The Stone Rows of Great Britain.
  • <15> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 867811, Extant 17 November 2021.
  • <16> Report: Webb, P.. 2014. ENPHER Input Form: Archaeological monitoring & recording of peat cutting for the creation of ditch blocks in Deer Park Field, Exmoor National Park, Somerset. South West Archaeology Ltd..



Grid reference Centred SS 7699 3834 (79m by 49m) (9 map features)
Map sheet SS73NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (6)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12220
  • Mires Feature Reference (Monument) (Deer Park): EDP12(177)
  • Mires Feature Reference (Monument) (Deer Park): EDP12(178)
  • Mires Feature Reference (Monument) (Deer Park): EDP12(179)
  • Mires Feature Reference (Monument) (Deer Park): EDP12(180)
  • Mires Feature Reference (Monument) (Deer Park): EDP12(181)
  • Mires Feature Reference (Monument) (Deer Park): EDP12(185)
  • Mires Feature Reference (Monument) (Deer Park): EDP12(186)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NE 36
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 867811
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35285

Record last edited

Jun 16 2022 11:05AM


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